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Denim staples for fall

September 14, 2011
I've got the blues!

I’ve got the blues! by susansaidwhat featuring a cropped jacket

Cropped jacket
$85 – topshop.com

Straight leg jeans
$190 – net-a-porter.com

Michael Kors satchel handbag
$194 – repertoirefashion.co.uk

Susan McNeill is a wife, mother, author, entrepreneur and the co-founder of the literacy organization Success Won’t Wait! In addition to Susan Said What?! Susan also writes for It’s how you play the game!Success Won’t Wait! and new for 2011 The Best Christmas Ever!  

Susan’s Style: It’s September. Back to reality…

September 5, 2011
Summer is done. Back to reality!

Summer is done. Back to reality! by susansaidwhat featuring a pleated skirt

Fitted shirt
$50 – witchery.com.au

L A M B pleated skirt
$153 – coggles.com

MICHAEL BY MICHAEL KORS leather shoes
148 CAD – gravitypope.com

Tahitian pearl necklace
$193 – jcpenney.com

Yves Saint Laurent glass ring
$250 – net-a-porter.com

Now that Labor Day is over and summer is merely a memory, my breezy, summery clothes seem sadly out of place in the office. Even though the outdoor temperatures are regularly in the upper 80’s throughout the month of September, those soft pastels and white basics somehow look wrong.

Transitioning to my fall wardrobe generally occurs a bit at a time, but the first (and easiest!) step is to choose hues more suitable for the onset of cooler weather. Today, the pieces I’ve chosen have actually been hanging in the closet all summer long. In June, I might have paired the gray skirt with a pastel pink sleeveless blouse. In August, the black tee topped everything from khaki shorts to my favorite black-and-white print skirt from Anne Taylor.

But in September, I’ve put the two neutrals together along with some of my favorite trends for fall: python pumps and a wrap belt.

Python is just the latest addition to a long series of animal prints which have been popular in various incarnations for several seasons. I believe that this is a trend with some serious staying power! Although interesting and detailed, python is a neutral. For work or play, snakeskin is a real must-have for fall 2011.

The wrap belt another one of those trends that I believe women everywhere will embrace this fall. These belts are so flattering and – even better — forgiving to all figures!

But of these trends are available in an incredible range of prices, and offer an instant update to wardrobe pieces you already own.
Susan McNeill is a wife, mother, author, entrepreneur and the co-founder of the literacy organization Success Won’t Wait! In addition to Susan Said What?! Susan also writes for It’s how you play the game!Success Won’t Wait! and new for 2011 The Best Christmas Ever!  

Looking chic at the “End of Summer Luau”

September 3, 2011
Say goodbye to summer

Say goodbye to summer by susansaidwhat featuring an espadrilles wedge

French Connection sweetheart dress
$180 – usa.frenchconnection.com

Floral hair accessory
$17 – hairflowers.net

The annual Luau signals the end of summer. I look forward to it (so much fun!) but dread it as well, because it means those long, lazy days gossiping by the pool with my girls are over for another year.

This year I wanted to glam it up a bit over my standard cotton sundress. So when I found this strapless, embroidered sheath, I knew it was perfect! Best of all, the dress is now on sale at The French Connection for $179.99 (was $228.00).

The dress is such a stunner, that I’ve paired it with very plain Steve Madden wedges in white and some simple Betsey Johnson hoop earrings. For a more upscale occasion, you might add strappy sandals — but remember to let the dress shine and keep jewelry and other details to a minimum.

Of course, this event is a Luau, so I just had to add a flower to tuck behind my ear! Happy Labor Day Weekend everyone!

Susan McNeill is a wife, mother, author, entrepreneur and the co-founder of the literacy organization Success Won’t Wait! In addition to Susan Said What?! Susan also writes for It’s how you play the game!Success Won’t Wait! and new for 2011 The Best Christmas Ever!  

Instant wardobe update: The best fall skirts

August 31, 2011
That's a wrap!

That’s a wrap! by susansaidwhat featuring an asymmetrical skirt

Helmut Lang wrap skirt
$185 – farfetch.com

Draped skirt
$120 – witchery.com.au

T by Alexander Wang elastic waist skirt
$135 – net-a-porter.com

Peter Som asymmetrical skirt
$209 – kirnazabete.com

Sara Berman leather skirt
$135 – theoutnet.com

Careful draping, soft folds, and a sense of movement characterize the best of this fall’s new skirts. From casual knit jersey, to show stopping leather, to elegant chiffon for evening, this feminine style looks fresh and new.

So, if you can only buy one new skirt this fall, make it one of these stunning sarong-inspired styles for an instant update!

Susan McNeill is a wife, mother, author, entrepreneur and the co-founder of the literacy organization Success Won’t Wait! In addition to Susan Said What?! Susan also writes for It’s how you play the game!Success Won’t Wait! and new for 2011 The Best Christmas Ever!  

Cocktail rings for fall? These bug and beetle rings add a whimsical note!

August 29, 2011
It's a little "buggy" today!

Gold platinum jewelry
jewelry.1stdibs.com

Juicy Couture vintage look jewelry
$78 – couture.zappos.com

Cara Accessories stretch jewelry
$58 – nordstrom.com

Mixit sparkle jewelry
$12 – jcpenney.com

G by Guess facets jewelry
$17 – gbyguess.com

Miss Selfridge gold tone jewelry
£8.50 – missselfridge.com

One of the most adorable trends I’ve found for autumn is to carry just the tiniest bit of summer with you. These delightful bug and beetle rings are the perfect example. Gorgeous colors and whimsical shapes will make you smile and think of long, lazy summer days, even as the leaves being to change — or the snows begin to fall!

Susan McNeill is a wife, mother, author, entrepreneur and the co-founder of the literacy organization Success Won’t Wait! In addition to Susan Said What?! Susan also writes for It’s how you play the game!Success Won’t Wait! and new for 2011 The Best Christmas Ever!  

How to get Anne Hathaway’s ladylike look for a lot less!

August 28, 2011
Star style!

Lace dress
$100 – topshop.com

Stuart Weitzman red pumps
$165 – bluefly.com

Black sunglasses
9.95 AUD – fashionaddict.com.au

River Island gold belt
£16 – riverisland.com

Anne Hathaway has been on my fashion radar for a long, long time. As an actress, she captivated me with her Cinderella-like transformation in the Devil Wears Prada. And on the red carpet, Anne rarely makes a fashion misstep!

Graceful and self-assured, she simply embodies the old-Hollywood elegance that so many starlets emulate — but somehow manage to fall just short of.

And who is this fashion icon’s fashion icon? None other than Kate Middleton – the champion of ladylike dressing!

Anne explained it this way, “Can I tell you how grateful I am to Kate Middleton?… she is such an advocate for dressing like a lady. I think for a few years that kind of slightly dirty look was adopted by Hollywood – you know, the stringy hair, homeless thing. And I really tried … I’m just very grateful to Kate Middleton for making looking appropriate really fun again. So right now my fashion choices are all about Kate Middleton.”

Today, I’ve picked a really approachable ensemble sported by Anne in July, and shown you how to get the look (as always!) for a lot less!

Susan McNeill is a wife, mother, author, entrepreneur and the co-founder of the literacy organization Success Won’t Wait! In addition to Susan Said What?! Susan also writes for It’s how you play the game!Success Won’t Wait! and new for 2011 The Best Christmas Ever!  

Get ready for Irene!

August 26, 2011
I'm ready!

With Hurricane Irene rapidly bearing down on us here on the East Coast, my thoughts today are more about the safety of my family and friends, than looking chic. (Although I do tend to react true to my nature during disasters — and managed to save my luggage while being rescuing by the Coast Guard from a sinking ship once. But that’s another story!)

To prepare for Irene, today I checked the National Weather Service for a basic hurricane safety checklist including:

• Find out if you live in an evacuation area. Know your home’s vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind.
• Double check the supplies in your disaster supply kit and replace batteries. (Read more about what goes into Creating a Disaster Supply Kit.)
• Monitor NOAA Weather Radio for real-time weather information and warnings.
• If a storm threatens, heed the advice from local authorities. Evacuate if ordered. (Read more about Having a Place to Go.)
• Execute your family plan. (Learn more about Developing a Family Plan.)
• Don’t forget to secure your home. (Learn more about Securing your Home.)
• If you’ve got a pet, please don’t leave them behind! Not all temporary shelters allow pets. (Learn more about Having a Pet Plan.)

Please stay safe everyone!

Susan McNeill is a wife, mother, author, entrepreneur and the co-founder of the literacy organization Success Won’t Wait! In addition to Susan Said What?! Susan also writes for It’s how you play the game!Success Won’t Wait! and new for 2011 The Best Christmas Ever!  

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